21 Aug 2019

Better Not Younger: Embrace The Invisible

Better Not Younger: Embrace The Invisible on vickiarcher.com


There is a moment when we become invisible.
I remember mine.

It was a few years back and I was walking down the street with my two gorgeous daughters. The passing male traffic did what they usually do with the exception of me. I was blanked. Not in a nasty hurtful way but in an invisible way as if I wasn’t there. I was a person no longer of visual interest. My girls took no notice, just as I once took no notice, this time I did.


I will admit it did throw me for a moment – the loss of a wink, a smile or the occasional wolf whistle – I had come of age. Shocking really! Nobody ever imagines they will become invisible to the opposite sex – partners aside of course. And yes, I am talking in generalizations but undoubtedly when we reach a certain age there is a subtle shift.


You know what? It is the VERY BEST thing to happen to me.



We are so much more visible to ourselves once we reach a certain age. Feeling invisible in public ways has grown my self-confidence and allowed me to be the woman I am. The focus is on the internals and not the externals; yes, I care about how I am perceived by others but it is more for my benefit. Being driven by external perception does not overly enhance confidence but the flip side is we work harder on the more important elements of self -growth.







What do you feel about this? Have you experienced the “invisible” moment?

This “better, not younger period” of our lives, is one I find thrilling.

You see, I don’t really care a great deal about other people’s “winks” anymore – unless those people are important to me. Having a greater focus on health and fitness in both body and mind has freed up with this revelation; it was a “light bulb” moment that told me it’s time to work on myself and become the woman I want to be.


Seeing myself as invisible in the eyes of strangers was a great gift and allowed me to know what was important, what mattered and what I care about. I don’t feel invisible, I feel on fire with the future and the possibilities it brings.




Better Not Younger: Embrace The Invisible on vickiarcher.com




Being invisible to others makes us highly visible to us and this is a feeling we want to catch, hold tight and run with.

This moment can be taken as a marking point and a defining moment in our personal growth. I did and I haven’t looked back.

Our lives can be about us. It is not selfish in any way; it is where we are. Our dreams and hopes, challenges and expectations can centre on what we want to accomplish and achieve. This is a glorious time in our lives and one to be embraced.


I am grateful for my “cloak” of invisibility and am only too happy to wrap it tightly around me and venture out into the world. xv



images, ali macgraw photographed by pamela hanson for porter magazine

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43 Comments

Becky Hallberg

I could not agree more! I just turned 60 this year and started to notice not being noticed. Thanks for the pep talk Vicki!

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Vicki

Any time, Becky… We have so much to learn and grow from at our stage and age .. the best thing is to share what we have discovered with each other :)

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Cheri

Same here! I am 61 with 5 beautiful daughters and I have recently noticed I’m no longer being noticed. It’s fine, I accept that, after all I am a grandmother. Now I hear, “ you look good for your age” I’ll take it!

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Nancy McKay

I read your emails most every day. I love your musings and your recommendations. But this was a powerful writing above all others. It is the definition of aging and how we deal with the diminishing visibility to the world. Beautifully said. Hard to reckon on some days though.

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Vicki

Thank you Nancy,
I want to write more about these feelings we have. I think a great deal about this and while my invisible days are a tough call they are also awakening and a reminder of how much “better” I am now. Note To Self: I’d rather hang out with me now than 20 years ago.. 😂 😂 😂 😂

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Janet

What a fantastic blog and I would add that in finding ourselves, our souls become more clearly visible to others and that is a fantastic transition.

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Vicki

The important features become clearly visible… yes, agree 100%. Thank you Janet :)

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Kennie Neal

I never comment on blogs, but this one just resonated with me. I’m in this stage and it is so freeing. Thank you for all your posts.

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Vicki

My greatest pleasure Kennie… these words are fantastic I am reading.. freedom and freeing… YES! :)

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Cindy Ranz

Yes, I have been invisible. I was out dancing with single friends. I commented to one that I felt like I must be invisible. She informed me that I put off an “I’m fine” vibe. Of course an explanation was needed. She said I didn’t search the room for eyes looking at me, smile when men went by or seem interested in anything other than talking with my friends. Oh, and they are all older than me. I think invisible can be an attitude as well.

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Helen Meo

I agree with you wholeheartedly Cindy. Also I believe when women begin talking about wearing ‘comfortable’ shoes and clothing they are beginning the downward spiral.

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Cindy Ranz

I just saw this reply. I hope I never give up beautiful shoes, clothes, accessories. My personal goal is to be current without looking like I’m trying to dress like a younger person, just like our amazing hostess Vicki. I follow her to check my fashion thinking/choices. Her taste is impeccable.

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Cecile

Most enjoyable read. I agree with you. I don’t get the male attention either and it’s fine. I don’t miss a guy that sees my boobs and butt before he sees me and I’m supposed to appreciate the attention. No, not then, not now. Although sometime a telling smile would be nice! (wink!) I think the people that do notice us and don’t find us invisible are the same ones that think they are invisible too; possibly a generation thing. I live in the USA and I turn 65 next month and that seems to be the age of becoming invisible except for the persistent Medicare calls! I’m not invisible to myself either but I have changed – a different age, a different stage of life – it’s wonderful. If this is being invisible then I plan to enjoy my superpower!

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Eileen

Thank you for this. I didn’t know how to put this into words, to explain to my friends, that being both, visible, and invisible, have their merits, as do our youth and age have their merits. Well said, thanks.

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Vicki

As you say, every age and stage is a blessing Eileen, you are right… the trick is to appreciate all and every :)

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Kathleen Botsford

I have found myself noticing lots of woman lately. Mostly woman of a certain age. Woman who have a depth and vitality about themselves that their younger sisters cannot duplicate. Woman who radiate this light of self love and self acceptance so brightly, everyone around them is drawn in like a moth to a flame. And the most striking common characteristic I find is that these women have not succumbed to society’s insatiable appetite for anything and everything “young”. These women have not felt the need to inject or alter their faces to “appear” younger and yet these women would leave their frozen and plastic counterparts in the proverbial dust in any true beauty pageant.

But whether I like it or not, the “Hot babe” years are gone. No matter how much I inject and pull, tug and shrink, I will never be a “babe” again. AND this is how it should be. Now I can be the complete woman I was always meant to be. I can be attractive and sensual in a new and more powerful way because I am no longer the “babe”. I have learned to accept my faults as well as my gifts. I am learning to show the same compassion and love I shower on my family and friends to myself. I am learning to truly love myself in my complete authenticity, warts and wrinkles included.

Every stage of our lives are filled with wonder and beauty. The clarity and confidence of women who have reached a certain age, is a breathtaking aphrodisiac also. A woman who is fully owning her years and her wrinkles as well as her wisdom and humor. A woman who is unapologetic for gray hair and laugh lines. A woman who carries herself with elegance and dignity. A woman who is confident of herself and proud of her choices. That’s the sensuous woman I want to be and most importantly, the woman I want to model for my girls.

I will always care about my appearance and I will continue to wrestle with the little voice in my head that urges me to be better, dress nicer, loose more weight. It is one of my many inner voices that I have finally made friends with. The shadow side may be terribly critical but she only wants me to be my very best. She only wants me to be loved and cherished. The catch is, I must love and cherish myself before I can expect it from anyone else. Together, we will continue down this path to wholeness one day at a time.

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Eileen

I have no interest in men at this point in my life so I am sure I’m giving off that vibe. I start off my day, showered and ready for the day, having prepared for me. I don’t want to spend my day doing things to garner approval from anyone else. My interest lies in being kind and supporting other women in need. At the same, I thank the man holding the door for me or maybe I am holding the door for man or woman. I’m living my life with more intention and care. Invisible is just fine with me.

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Mumbai

often you make yourself invisible and it’s in the mood you are. In many countries you
become only then visible when you get older It’s also a kind of education

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Sunflower

Vicki, a similar situation like this happened to me in France a couple of years ago when I was with my daughter. Yes I was invisible but also I saw the impression my stunning daughter had upon others and it wasn’t just males. That as well as being a defining moment for me was a lovely moment as a Mum as I thought yes my daughter is mine and I think she is beautiful too!! I’m sure you felt similar Vicki with your girls.

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Joanna

I wouldn’t say I don’t miss it, because at times I do. I remember that feeling. It felt wonderful to know you were desirable, even though one is happily married. At the same time, I don’t resent the fact that men are eyeing my beautiful daughters. I guess at 65 I’m torn. Too old to catch the roving eye, yet still too young to be invisible.
I am delighted that my husband thinks I’m a beautiful women and tells me often. I’ll settle for that! I try to be the best I can be. There is no settling into old age for me. I dress currently, change up my hairstyles, exercise and eat well. I think we have to stay playful; laugh, dance, try new things, converse and flirt with our partners. Don’t settle into old age when we still have so much life to live.

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Shir

Remember what happened to Harry Potter on Platform 9 3/4? There is a world beyond the eyes that is much richer if we care to enter it.
Others perception of us does not matter – as it’s not US they see but a projection of their inner world.
When we stop reflecting back other people’s perception, we are free to project our own colorful self. I find that liberty absolutely intoxicating.

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Deb

The funny thing is becoming invisible to males perhaps, but I have found as a woman in my 60’s that other women- both young and old are more supportive and affirming. Is that just a sisterhood thing? If I dress up and am feeling a bit special it’s women who comment not men. Just yesterday a woman of similar age stopped me in the street to ask directions and we had a quick chat, she ended by saying “By the way, love your pink suede boots, you look lovely!” Then we both laughed and I of course thanked her, carried on my merry way with a wee spring in my step!

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Meg

You wait until you start doing the occasional school run with Archie. I found I’ve fallen into No (Wo) Man’s Land at Grace & Henry’s school. The Yummy Mummy’s in their active wear give me the once over & then just ignore me. And the Nonna’s in their cardigans & sensible shoes do the same. I’ve generally just made the dash from work so look just fine but it seems there’s no category for me. I’m not invisible, just undefinable. Pickup has taken on a whole new meaning for me, talk about getting the once over!!! xx

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Shari Goodman

Meg, I hear you! Same thing happens to me when I pick up and I too feel I’ve fallen into No Man’s Land.

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Rosemarie

Turning this on its head, let us talk first about what is visible. What are those wolf whistles about? Do they really see a person or just a symbol? A symbol may be visible, but it has little to with who resides within. So, visibility must be something deeper. Visibility is about a connection …connections have no shape, age or form though they are between two people. Connections are the thing of friendship, communications and love. As long as we can connect, we are visible regardless of age. Walk into a room and hold you space with your presence not your attire. Hold a conversation with enthusiasm and you will never be invisible at any age. That said, the youth culture in the US tends to underestimate the resilience and spending power of older women. My biggest frustration is often with young sales people who behave as though you couldn’t possible be worth talking to…as Julia Robert’s said in “Pretty Women”…”big mistake’. Small flirtations are a thing of any age… they make you smile and then you
move on and I agree they happen more in Europe. The real key is as you get older, you are happy in your own skin. You are alive and taking in the world. You can blend…you can shine…best of all you can be. That is the gift

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Pamela

I remember that kind of moment too. It was when I was walking around the boutiques in central Sydney with my beautiful dil. I thought a few seconds about it and then said to myself, “of course, it’s only natural. But now I see it’s the men of a certain age who notice me – and that can really make one feel old! But I certainly don’t miss the catcalls and wolf whistles from guys on building sites that really plagued the shyer younger me. I used to cross the road to avoid it. So mortified. My Mum and Granny always said – a lady never notices these things, look the other way. Not really good advice, as they always redoubled their efforts to get me to look at them. But even now when on my own there is still the occasional guy who notices and does a good chat-up line. And if I have time and the man looks nice I have been induced to have a coffee with him nearby. Once when I was in Paris alone I was at the next restaurant table to an artist, of roughly the same age as me. He was sketching the scene in charcoal. We chatted and laughed for the whole of lunch. I heard his life story – his work, wife and family and he heard a little about mine. He invited me to bring my husband to his atelier in Provence and gave me his card. Always purely platonic these little chance meetings but so restorative as it helps to feel one hasn’t lost it altogether. Of course he was probably just hoping to sell me a painting! But there are such interesting people out there. And it’s always nice in Paris when the staff in gorgeous boutiques remember you from the year before and welcome you back. And the headwaiters and others when in favourite restaurants too. This time one of those occasions was at the Meurice so I felt doubly chuffed! I remember reading that Blor, one of the Mitford girls’ fave nannies, used to try to reassure them before parties by saying, “it’s all right, no-one will be looking at you”. She apparently said it to Diana when she was in a tizz fiddling with her hair before her first time as a bride, “No-one will be looking at you!” Best wishes, Pamela

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Eulalia Palomeque

Hola Vicki
Me encanta leer tus frases.
La reseña de París, es bonita, al leer me transporte cuando la conoci, olvidaste decir que tiene su peculiar olor, huele a PARIS…
Nunca me he sentido invisible, siempre soy YO, tengo 76 años, y me siento tan contenta con mis años, soy feliz, mis hijos cada uno con su familia y su vida,.disfruto de ellos.
El despertarme cada día y sentir que estoy viva por la gracia de Dios, es increíblemente hermoso. la vida tiene sus etapas y tenemos que disfrutarlas a su tiempo.
Ahora disfruto de ser adulto mayor, es paz, descanso y gozo.
Gracias por compartir tus vivencias y tu sentir.
saludos

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Sandie Cormie

Funnily enough, I think I’ve always been invisible. No winks or wolf whistles as a younger woman, probably because I’m taller than most men, flat chested and singularly lacking in what my mother called ‘sex appeal’!! If ever a compliment does come my way, I tend to bristle with discomfort. I do find as I’m getting older (now 66), it matters less. I continue to make the best of who I am and how I look and am finding a certain peace in the freedom of acceptance and just being.

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cindy

Yep, although I don’t remember exactly when it happened. My hair has been gray for over eight years, but it wasn’t immediately after.

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Jayne McLeod

YOU are a delight & an encouragement to me, I thank you ! And thank you to the other ladies who share as well, what wisdom and insight comes from each of you. I relish this age I am entering into (retirement years) and look forward to enjoying more of the women I am ment to be. Jayne

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Barbara Chambers

I love this and I could not agree more. Spending most of my life being noticed by men and women for the way I looked exhausted me. I am an introvert. I don’t want or need that kind of male attention ( I never did), and I really suffered from the competition some women would project unto me- so grateful that is, for the most part, gone. My nieces and my daughter’s friends still want to know my ‘secret’ to staying young, which is very sweet of them. What I tell them is wear what you want, love who you want, and eat what you want, but if you’re going to eat what you want you’re going have to walk a lot. :-) At 65 I feel freer in the world than ever before.

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Lyn

I know I am late getting to this post. I just returned from Italy – the people in Milan are beautiful! That being said my husband asked me the other day – “don’t you notice people looking at you?” No, I don’t. I’m almost 69, and I must be doing something right. Age is only a number!

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